Roman Republic, Man. Acilius Glabrio - Salus and Valetudo

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Salus and Valetudo are almost synonymous divinities of health and physical well-being. A famous statue by Nikeratos of Salus/Hygieia was in the temple of Concord at Rome. It represented the goddess feeding a serpent which she holds. The coin type might well represent this statue. Pliny notes that the first doctor to practise in Rome (a Peloponnesian named Archagathos) came to the city in 219 BC and was given citizenship and a shop located at public expense in the crossway Acilia. There is, however, no ancient evidence to support the Acilia gens’ claim that it was they who brought him to Rome.
The moneyer is commonly identified with the son of Mn. Acilius Glabrio, consul in 67, and Aemilia, daughter of M. Aemilius Scaurus, whom Sulla forced him to divorce in 82. He was born in Pompey’s house in 81. Aemilia was the sister of M. Scaurus, the infamous curule aedile in 58. Pompey married Aemilia after her divorce. Acilius supported his uncle M. Aemilius Scaurus at his trial in 54. The year 50 saw Pompey fall gravely ill at his villa at Naples, and prayers and public vows for his recovery were offered throughout Italy. His recovery was greeted with widespread celebrations.  These coin types are not inappropriate choices for one who was born in Pompey’s house. It is possible that he was the Acilius who produced bronze coins in Sicily as quaestor, and at Corinth. There is no further record of him. It is interesting to note that the Acilii Glabriones long survived and had consuls in the direct line in AD 210 and AD 256.

Man. Acilius Glabrio AR Denarius. Rome, 49 BC. Bust of Salus right; SALVTIS behind / Valetudo standing left holding serpent; MN ACILIVS III VIR VALETV around. Sydenham 922; Crawford 442/1a. 4.06g, 19mm, 7h.


Good Extremely Fine.